Kelly Santana

  • I’m not sure if there’s anything I dislike more about school then public speaking. And of course, there’s no way to escape it. I know it’s something I have to do – but I don’t do it without spazzing out and dying […]

    • Hi, Kelly! I know this sounds like such a generic response, but you got this! I know that public speaking makes you reeeaally nervous, but you really are good at it! Your presentations for the last year have been interesting, engaging, and light. If it helps, maybe you can go first in your roundtable (or second? maybe just not last) so that way it’s over earlier! We’ll also be practicing a lot and, like you said, it’ll be scripted (even more than our presentations have been) so that will be helpful. I know this doesn’t 100% help, but it’ll be over soon and will have gone great! Sending you positive vibes, confidence, and support!

    • Here’s the thing: You are really good at public speaking. You’re poised, and you enunciate really well, with a fluid rhythm. You could do it for a living!

  • Hi guys! Here are my notes from my presentation:

    Text: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2007)

    This novel is about the life of Oscar De Leon, an overweight boy from the Dominican […]

  • My keywords are death, young adult lit., and adolescence


    To start, I thought I’d list what texts I would like to work with. I still have to add one of my own texts but I haven’t decided which yet. But anyway, here they are:

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar […]

    • Hi Kelly! It looks like you’re really starting to come up with a sturdy plan! I agree that the genre portion is the most difficult– but I think the “Comic Book Realism” article may help you there! I think that writing out your ideas and continuing to read and plan will help you make your plans more specific. It also looks like you’re developing some comfort with flexibility, which I think will be really important for the exam. I think you have enough texts in total, but for your plans you include multiple texts in the same topic– maybe come up with a few different topics/ideas to make sure you really connect two or three texts when needed! You’re off to a great start! We can do this!

  • Text: “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville (1853)

    Summary: Short story narrated by a Wall-Street Lawyer who hires a new scrivener who spends the first few days working hard in the office. But soon aft […]

  • After receiving feedback on my draft from Professor Tougaw and Michelle (thanks for all your help!), I realized there are a few things I really need to focus on fixing:

    Making my own voice in my paper stand […]

    • Great list. If you do all this–and it feels very much within your grasp–it will make a very big difference. The essay will come into focus and your arguments will become sharper. It’s exciting to imagine.

    • Hi Kelly! These are great steps to revising your paper. I especially like that you’ve already found additional sources to incorporate. I also think that including your voice more and letting the sources support you instead of vice versa will let your excitement about your topic shine through! Being specific will also let you break your argument (and paper) down into parts, which will also help with any organizational revisions you want to make. You’re making great progress, and I can’t wait to read your next draft!

  • The draft feedback from my group and Professor Tougaw has been extremely helpful for me. My outline was very straightforward and, in a way, basic. I listed the order in which I want to discuss things (which I need […]

    • Hi Kelly! Now that we’re in a writing group together, I really look forward to finding out about your research topic and reading what you’ve written so far. Finding more sources was also a struggle for me over this break. I hope you found what you’ve been looking for! Also, it sounds weird, but it really is so easy to forget about your primary sources when you’re so concerned with finding relevant secondary sources! It will be really interesting to talk about your topic (young adult literature sounds awesome!) with your reflections in mind, especially because we weren’t in the same writing group last semester. I hope that your writing and revising has been going well, and I’m excited to help you make your project the best it can be!

  • First I just wanna say that I love The Martian (the movie, haven’t had a chance to read the book) so I got all excited when I saw that you’ll be using it for your paper! Your topic is very interesting (and super deep), so I’m excited to see what becomes of it once you start working on your paper! I think that Damasio is great to start with as a…[Read more]

  • DeMinco, Sandrea. “Young Adult Reactions To Death In Literature And Life.” Adolescence 30.117 (1995): 179-185. PsycINFO. Web.

    DeMinco’s article focuses on how young adults grieve and how it is very different […]

    • Hey! I really like the development of your project! You found some really great secondary sources, Gillespie’s work especially excites me because that seems like it might be relevant to my paper. If you decide to explore the horror genre a little further, I have a couple books on that, and if I find something that seems like it may relate to your project I’ll let you know. I don’t think the fact that you’re only piggybacking is a problem because you’re bringing together so many sources, so it’s still innovative and new. However, if you’re concerned with your lack of opposition, try playing devil’s advocate and thinking what the other side might argue, then research those topics as if you’re writing your paper on that topic instead of trying to find opposition embedded in your realm of articles. But overall, I think your sources cover a wide array of disciplines and are really interesting.

    • Hi Kelly! I’m glad that you are branching into horror a bit. The similarities are fascinating, and I don’t think I would have noticed it myself. I understand your concerns about having only one type of strategy. I found that I was using a lot of piggy-backing as well. I think once you read more views, especially in Hintz, you’ll have a better idea of where you stand in all of this!
      I think that your topic encompasses a lot, which is a good thing, but I do think that you might need more sources on children’s psychology and literature. I reccomend ERIC, the educational database, as well as any psychology databases our school gets. Sorry to state the obvious and unnecessary! I’m impressed by your clarity, and hope that your sources serve you well! I’m glad that you have an anchor text. Do you plan on going into Freudian analysis much? I think an untapped resource here might be book reviews and interviews of the authors. What do they have to say about the morbidity of their works? I’m sure there are a lot of reviews and interviews of TFIOS, as it was made into a movie. You can probably transfer these ideas to other works as well. I think that you chose your sources strategically, and cast a wide net, so to speak (or write)! I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll bring in an educational psychology book for you and Zahava to browse for tomorrow’s class, if my back will permit it! Hoping you’re well!

  • For my research project I will be focusing on three books that are works of Young Adult Literature. These books are, The Fault in our Stars by John Green, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, and Me and Earl and the Dy […]

    • replied 5 years ago

      Hey, I really like your topic! I do want to comment that as far as I’m aware Me Before You isn’t considered YA (technically) but I still think it will be very helpful and generate good research. There are also a lot of deaths in Hunger Games that might get you some research because it’s a popular text/movie. Some other books that might be helpful for looking at your project in different ways are Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why because it goes through the seemingly minute 13 reasons that someone killed herself and how they all added up- it provides the reasons of why someone might kill him/herself from the perspective of a teen and another book, Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is made up of letters that a teen girl sends to dead people about her life. They both look at death in unconventional ways- maybe they might be cool to analyze. Also, you write that you want to explore the positive effects but I think there are also a lot of negative effects that you would have to explore as well. It’s also interesting to note that all the books you chose became movies. Overall, really great topic! (PS you can also use The Perks of Being a Wallflower because the whole book kinda stems from his friend’s death to show the effects- sorry I’ll stop suggesting books. I just really like YA books.)

    • Hi Kelly! I love your topic. It’s very true that a lot of realistic YA novels do focus on death, while many others have death as at least a large presence. The novels that you chose (I’ve only read TFIOS. Don’t judge!) seem to concentrate on the social aspect of dying. I know in TFIOS, the focus kind of bothered me. It’s was a book about living that happened to be interrupted by death. Death is seen as something that the characters consciously try to ignore. As pointed out by Zahava, most YA literature does involve dying, but I would argue that this is something that isn’t unique to YA literature. Just think about the zombie fascination.
      You seem to be focusing on portraits of the adolescent living/dying, which is fascinating. I think that your secondary sources will be very useful to you as you explore this strange phenomenon. As someone who shies away from this genre, all I can tell you is that books like these are being marketed to the right demographic. My middle-school students are obsessed with the idea of death. It’s not that they want to die, but they just haven’t had that much exposure to death, necessarily, and are also at an age where they feel invincible. Death is a foreigner, so they don’t feel as uncomfortable reading about it. Could such literature be comforting to children who have lost family or friends? Can it make people more sensitive? I hope your paper will address the empathy/sympathy aspect! I would recommend that you pick up a book or two on developmental psychology. I can lend you one of my adolescent psych books, if you think it might be useful. Researchers such as Lev Vygotsky might be useful in talking about stages of development, and tying your paper in with popular psychological theories of development. Overall, I love your paper, and feel very confident that you will do an amazing job wth it! Good luck, and be well!

  • Kelly Santana commented on the page, on the site Beautiful Mind 5 years ago

    Hi Asheka! I think you bring up some very interesting points. I think that it’s super important to note that Gawain doesn’t mind giving the kisses Bertilak’s wife gave to him. There’s no resistance to it, not even the third time around. Maybe this does say something about Gawain and his preferences or even his sexual identity, despite the poem…[Read more]

  • Kelly Santana commented on the page, on the site Thinking Out Loud 5 years ago

    Your points made me take a second look at the work and think what kind of influences the church may have on the characters and the setting of the play. And I hadn’t even thought about time and the calendar these characters would’ve followed during that time. All these little things, like color, gestures, even time, are really important to pay…[Read more]

  • As I’m reading Nature and the Inner Man, I’m remembering all these moments in the play where great attention was paid on the clothes and appearances of certain characters like the Green Knight. The play is d […]

    • Clothing was one aspect of the text I took into consideration as well. I didn’t get as far as thinking of green as a way of Gawain representing the outside world but picked up on the outside vs inside perspective. I wonder if the castle being all white represents something about that same perspective?

      The clothing aspect, I think, correlates with the supplemental reading of gestures I wrote on my blog. It’s amazing to see how much thought the poet put into this text.

    • Hi! It is really interesting to hear about the doors that Woods’ writing opened for you and how the emphasis on clothing and colors provided you with a different, more in depth reading of the text! Clothing and colors in any text are always important aspects to pay attention to and it is always funny to realize that we need to be reminded to notice them sometimes! I would completely agree with you that the careful descriptions of colors and clothing in this week’s reading are extremely important, but I would also encourage you to look for this meaning in other texts and even movies! I once went on a whole rant about the symbolism of the clothing and change of color in the animated movie Despicable Me and how meaningful it is. Surprisingly, all my friends were not as enthusiastic about it as I was. Weird, right? Anyway! Great post, I really liked your thinking and that it reminded me to pay more attention to the little details!

    • Your focus and attention to the color in Sir Gawain is very interesting. There is a big importance placed on the color green as it is the color the Green Knight wears but also it’s the color of the green belt that Gawain believes will save him. I also want to comment on the contrast between the hunting scene and the activities Gawain takes a part in. A classmate of mine from a different class mentioned that there could actually be a similarity in the two scenes. Meaning Gawain could be the one being hunted in a sense because he is trying to be seduced by the lord’s wife, who then becomes the huntress. I really liked her interpretation of this scene and I thought I would share it since you brought up the same scene.

    • replied 5 years ago

      Your post also made me think about the relationship between the color green and nature and the idea of rebirth and the cycle of life. I’m not sure if this is actually significant at all, but maybe it’s an answer to the questions that Gawain struggles with at the end. Maybe he can leave behind the stifling courtly life and be free in nature. Rather than a work within the romance and chivalric tradition, then, this poem would be more pastoral.

    • tracy replied 5 years ago

      Your post made me think of the color of green symbolizing envy. This would kind of fit into our discussion from class because Sir Gawain was the hero that was able to not be a hero… if that makes sense. He wasn’t the most macho or clever of hero’s which maybe could lead to the envy that people felt about him…I’m pretty sure that Sir Gawain was in a series of stories so to prove this sort of theory I would have to look at all the works in accordance with the entire collection. I really liked your comparison of the hunt scene. I didn’t really pick up on the peacefulness of Gawain inside while the hunt outside was really violent. Could this be to upset what we take for granted? Usually nature is depicted as peaceful and the place where people go “find themselves” in these older stories…but that’s kinda more of an Americanist perspective and not a medieval one…thoughts?

    • Hi Kelly! I agree that the colorlessness of the tale is a bit peculiar, if familiar. I was told by a professor of early British literature that very often, light and dark are the only descriptions of color. Slightly later works like those of Chaucer will also employ the color red. The color green in a middle-English work isn’t all that common. And it’s not just like the author wrote “the dude was green.” Rather, different shades of green are described in painstaking detail. It is very deliberate, and does not carry throughout the work, most of which does remain colorless. Are these works written without color because color wasn’t deemed important? I think that the more a person puts in about color, the less there is for me to imagine. I kind of like the ambiguity. It’s like a blank coloring book. I’m free to picture Gawain however I like. As long as he’s got rich clothing, “thick thewed thighs,” and a lot of hair. Thanks for your thought-provoking piece! Be well!

  • I think your post brings up great ideas about Rios’ story. I think it’s true that the narrator in the story is so detailed with description that it allows the reader to understand and even experience what the speaker is going through in her mind. This idea of reflection is also very important and adds another layer to Zunshine’s mind-reading. This…[Read more]

  • Kelly Santana commented on the page, on the site Thinking Out Loud 5 years ago

    I think you bring up a lot of good points that I agree with too! The narrator assesses his own life and others by assessing Bartleby. The narrator makes all these decisions, and even observes the two other scrivners and how they are based on Bartleby’s behavior. In a way, this idea of mind reading is reversed (or something like that). The narrator…[Read more]

  • When reading Melville’s short story, I was really interested in how the characters and the narrator viewed and tried to understand Bartleby’s behavior. And the word “Neuro-typical” rattled around in my head as I […]

    • replied 5 years ago

      I liked how you pointed out that the narrator measures people on his normal scale. This is something we’re all probably guilty of doing daily.I really like squirrels but I saw a girl on campus today singing to a squirrel and playing a drum for him and my friend and I were like that’s super weird. But maybe that was normal by her standards and the squirrel’s standards too. It wasn’t really my place to judge, and the squirrel seemed to be happy. So, yeah, we all judge people just like the narrator judged Bartleby.Sometimes we don’t have context and sometimes we just have preconceived notions that factor into our judgements.

    • YES! Going off of what Zahava said, I totally agree that the narrator is a stereotypical neurotypical that judges everyone else based off of how “normal” they are. I really don’t think we have any evidence to judge Bartleby and label him in any way based off the interpretation of his actions by someone else, either. The narrator just really bugged me because he talks so much about how strange everyone else is, without discussing his own flaws– which also makes him a boring character. I understand the idea of seeing things through his own eyes, and if he’s self-centered or just judgmental, then we see his world that way. BUT I still don’t appreciate it. I think that the narrator of Bartleby definitely represents this stereotype of neurotypicals that perhaps a lot of us can fit into, even when we try to be accepting. We just can’t help it. No, wait. We CAN help it; we just have been trained otherwise. Perhaps our experiences (even this course) can help us become more accepting and overall helpful– and I hope that the narrator became this way after the story ended.

    • tracy replied 5 years ago

      After having a brief discussion of Bartleby I too started thinking of what it means to be neurotypical. Is it normal behavior to want to always understand other people and their behaviors, mannerisms, etc? We kinda touched upon the fact that we’re not supposed to understand what’s going in Bartleby’s head…but that doesn’t stop us, or shall I say me, from wanting to know what the hell is going on in there. I’m also interested in the “normalcy scale” is this a real phenomenon? This also has a lot to do with the other question of the necessity of figuring out other people and if we can’t understand they become the “other” it’s kind of interesting to me… what do you guys think?

    • replied 5 years ago

      I actually kind of disagree with Michells and Zahava. I don’t think that the narrator judges everyone through a lens that castigated “weird” people as Other. Just consider the fact that his original two assistants, Turkey and Nipper, are also pretty strange and do things that don’t seem to mesh with reality quite well and are otherwise unexplainable. But to our narrator, it’s totally normal and he just accepts it and finds it normal. There’s something about Bartleby specifically that rubs him the wrong way, and honestly I can’t even articulate what that is exactly.

    • Hi Kelly! Your post had some good insight in its reference to the “normal scale”. It is true that the Lawyer does attempt to measure how normal Bartleby is, in fact, he does this with his other employees as well. I think that we can learn something about ourselves from this. It is common for us to measure others on a scale of what we determine to be normal. This is not only true for assessing neurological behavior, but also about race, gender, sexuality, etc. This is why it can be good for us to read and try to interpret texts like these, so that we can learn something about ourselves and ways that we can begin to appreciate the other for their difference.

    • You are definitely onto something here, so don’t doubt yourself! I too had the term neurotypical banging around as well as the action of comparison as you describe. It would seem that this is the standard by which people do judge others. Although many of us may not be fully aware that we do this, it surfaces more frequently than we think. Any of us who ever thought something or someone was “crazy.”

  • I totally agree with your post!
    I also think that Olear & Bartmess have an idea of what Asperger’s is based on what they’ve personally experienced. But it’s important to note that this disorder files under Autism Spectrum Disorder. That means there’s a scale in which people are measured, and they can be in different areas on that scale. Some…[Read more]

  • These reviews have me feeling really confused about how to feel. I agree with you about Olear. After reading his review for the first time, I pretty much tossed his remarks out of hand. Yes, Haddon could’ve done more research, but like you said, autism is different in every person! You can’t look at someone who has a different form of Autism and…[Read more]

  • I want to start off by saying that I quite enjoyed reading The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time. It’s completely different from what I’ve ever read. It was captivating to be inside the mind of a teen who […]

    • I really enjoyed reading your post because we wrote about similar things using different words and having our own way of interpreting it. & I think that’s important to realize while reading this book and also the reviews. I know that your way of reading the book is different from mine and my way is different than yours & that is perfectly fine. I also think this comment goes along with what you said about Olear’s son not being able to relate to Christopher but Shofield being able to. I think it’s also important to note, even if it’s evident, that Olear’s son & Shofield might also not relate to one another even thought they are real people living with Asperger’s. If either of these two people were to write a book about their experience with it many people would also protest because they would say their story and the severity or range in the spectrum is not the same. That’s something I think all the reviewers should consider as well, that autism and Asperger’s is on a spectrum that is designed to encompass all the various types of experiences one might have. Do I think Haddon could have done more research into his work? Yes I do. & I’m very sorry people with Asperger’s, family members of people with Asperger’s, & readers in general were offended by this book. It is up to the reader to see how they will internalize everything and how they let the book affect their views towards Asperger’s. Personally this book did not make me think less of people who do.

    • Kelly this post is just full of good objective reasoning! I certainly agree that this book cannot be criticized based upon the disorder we may believe that Chris has. The fact that Olear seems to bring in his own presumptions about Chris shows how easy it is to prematurely assign labels to people or people to labels. I liked that you also used Schofield who also does a good job at refraining from jumping to conclusions. The point about diagnosing a fictional character is an interesting one. He may be right in that we cannot, however, to try would be interesting as I’m sure it would yield several different diagnosis.

    • tracy replied 5 years ago

      SO i totally felt the same way during my readings. Olear is mad because the book doesn’t represent his child’s specific case of Autism, but no two cases are the same, so I think he would have been mad either way. The book was also written in a way that wasn’t text book-y. Although we know that Haddon didn’t do any outside research on the case, it still was more of a pleasure reading than informative. I don’t think his objective was for this to be the book that defines autism, the book just took on a life of its own. I also liked your point about giving a character a diagnosis, I made a similar point. All in all I think the topic is so new and touchy that no matter what is published it’ll face some sort of backlash.

    • Kelly I definitely like where you took this post! After reviewing Olear I thought he was being too headstrong and not seeing all the sides that Haddon gives us as readers. Then when I found out his son has Asperger’s I realized that he may be too emotionally and personally invested in the issue to really give Haddon any slack. Schofield I didn’t read, but I definitely agree with him more. I think it’s more about seeing a mystery being solved through the eyes of someone that we don’t expect to see through. It’s not so much about diagnosing the character like Schofield said, that’s impossible because we could never know. It seems to be more about solving a crime with someone who’s very unique.

  • Kelly Santana commented on the page, on the site Reading Minds 5 years, 1 month ago

    I really like your point about how sign language actually is a factor that contributes to their alienation. I also had a really hard time figuring out the book itself. I was waiting and waiting for this moment when everyone finds out how terrible the institute is through Charlotte. But, like you said, when she tells her mother, nothing happens.…[Read more]

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